Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

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Region Watch

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Medical marijuana meeting

Region Watch Staff Reports Medical marijuana meeting
Laura and Matthew Barber, who are at the center of a medical marijuana case in Traverse City, are planning an informational meeting/fundraiser at their home this Sunday, Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. to share their story with the public.
Thursday, August 12, 2004

Two wheeling

Region Watch Staff Reports Two Wheelin‘
NoMich cyclists leaving tracks all over...
Maybe it‘s the Lance Armstrong effect, but the wheels are in spin on a number of bicycle-powered endeavors this week, going far beyond the borders of Northern Michigan:
Thursday, July 22, 2004

White Power Picnic Protest

Region Watch Robert Downes About a dozen members of the white power National Socialist Movement found their picnic disrupted in Cadillac on Sunday, July 11 by members of Direct Action, an anti-racism group from the Lansing area.
Cadillac has had a reputation for the past few years as a center for skinhead and neo-Nazi types interested in maintaining the area as a white “homeland.” A skinhead group of teens and young adults was identified in the city in 1998. In 2000, two teenagers were charged with shooting at a group of skinheads who were reportedly attacking a home in the area. The white power movement is notorious enough to prompt Direct Action to maintain a “Cadillac Nazi Watch” on its website.
Thursday, July 15, 2004

Medical Marijuana Case Heads to Trial: Civil Disobedience Case could have Statewide Impact

Region Watch Eartha Melzer There was a pony-tailed man with a pinwheel among the crowd gathered to support multiple sclerosis sufferer and medicinal marijuana user Matthew Barber at the court house on Tuesday, July 6. But there was also a former magistrate, a kindergarten teacher and a retired cop at the rally. And no tie-dye in sight.
Thursday, July 8, 2004

New CD aims to beat Bush

Region Watch Staff Reports New CD aims to “Beat Bush”

... but even the President might enjoy this polite CD

President George W. Bush doesn’t seem to be too popular with local musicians. Scores of top acoustic artists in the region have joined forces to record a new CD as part of the effort to dump Bush from office this November.
Thursday, July 1, 2004

Charlevoix Filmmaker Searches for Answers Amid Israel‘s Conflict

Region Watch Robert Downes When filmmaker Rebecca Glotfelty traveled to Israel and the occupied territories of the West Bank last fall, it was with the idea of creating a documentary that would capture what it’s like to live day-to-day in a climate of violence and chaos.
“I also wanted to eliminate my own stereotypes and misconceptions and just see the people living there as people and not monsters or whatever they’ve been portrayed as to us,” she says.
Thursday, June 24, 2004

Here, Piggy-pig, Pig.... Goodwill Party will Benefit Area‘s Homeless Shelter

Region Watch Staff Reports Taster’s choice this Saturday when Goodwill Industries Volunteers Services ( GIVS ) hosts “The Party” pigroast and dance to benefit a the homeless shelter in Traverse City.
“We just wanted a fundraising party that people can have fun at and dance their tails off -- there’s no silent auction or anything like that -- the idea is to have a great time and a big party,” says Heidi Hallett-Treece, a GIVS volunteer who is organizing the event with co-chair Mary Stanton.
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Pride Day Festival will Host Commitment Ceremonies

Region Watch Michelle Moore Throughout the country, June is known as Pride Month, when many gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender (GLBT) people gather to celebrate pride in their communities. In Traverse City this tradition has been thriving for the past seven years at the Northern Michigan Pride Festival (NM Pride), occurring this year on Saturday, June 19. For the fifth year in a row, the gathering will be held at the Grand Traverse Commons in front of Building 50 on the old State Hospital grounds.
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Urban expert to seek better way for Acme

Region Watch Various Urban expert to seek better way for Acme

Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist will speak on “A True Acme Town Center” this Tuesday, May 18 in a citizen forum at the Grand Traverse Resort.
Thursday, April 1, 2004

Acme‘s Village

Region Watch Staff Reports Acme’s Village goes back to drawing board

A proposed “big box”-style shopping center masquerading as a downtown was scuttled in Circuit Court last week by Judge Thomas Power in a decision hailed by opponents of the project.
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Dominic Fortuna‘s new dinner theater

Region Watch Staff Reports Guess Who‘s Coming to Dinner?

Dominic Fortuna, voted “Best Entertainer“ by Express readers, is backing a new dinner theater in Acme, expected be up and running this summer.
Thursday, March 18, 2004

War protest planned

Region Watch Staff Reports War protests planned

Northern Michigan‘s antiwar movement started with a bang over a year ago, with hundreds of people waving signs protesting the invasion of Iraq along major highways in Petoskey and Traverse City. But the marches gradually dwindled in size and volume after the U.S./British blitzkrieg swept through Iraq in a matter of days. By mid-year, protests attracted only a handful of marchers in the region.
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Peek at City Opera House

Region Watch Staff Reports Public to get a peek at City Opera House

The glory days of a lumber-era opera house are being recast in downtown Traverse City, where a $4.3 million restoration project has reached completion of its first major stage.
This weekend, the public will have an opportunity to see the fruits of that effort when the City Opera House Heritage Association hosts an open house at the renovated facility on Front Street.
Thursday, December 19, 2002

Protesters head for Washington

Region Watch Express Staff Protesters head for Washington

Citizens opposed to the pending war in Iraq will voice their opinions at a massive rally in Washington, D.C., on January 18, with a bus scheduled to make the round-trip from Traverse City.
Sponsored by the local Mideast: Just Peace organization, the 54 seat charter bus leaves Traverse City on Friday, January 17 for Washington D.C. returning mid-day on Sunday, January 19. Up to 500,000 people are expected at the demonstration.
Thursday, November 14, 2002

High school lesson in free speech

Region Watch Express Staff High school lesson in free speech

Quoting from the likes of Mahatma Gandhi can apparently put students in hot water in high school these days, as Troy Stewart found out when the Marquette High School senior was suspended for speaking out against the proposed war in Iraq at a pep rally.
The Oct. 18 suspension was put on hold by a Marquette County judge to determine whether the school had violated Stewart’s First Amendment right to free speech.
What kind of dangerous talk did Stewart fill his fellow students’ ears with? The beginning of his speech is as follows: